Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Persepolis

Go To

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Did the Satrapis rescue Mehridia from dire poverty, giving the girl a far better life than the one she had in her destitute village? Or did they take advantage of Mehridia's vulnerable position in order to use her as a child maid?
  • Animation Age Ghetto: The film's subject matter and low-key art style relegated it to art house cinemas in the US.
  • Award Snub: Lost the "Best Animated Feature" award to Ratatouille, which, while certainly no slouch, is generally considered one of Pixar's weaker films.note  Humorously enough, this is the second time Pixar beat out a French film for the award.
  • Advertisement:
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Kia's joke about a soldier who gets put back together after an explosion and gets his penis attached to the wrong spot? Not funny. The soldier Comically Missing the Point and babbling to his wife "But look, it still works!" Now it's funny.
  • Ending Fatigue: Despite being a very good movie, most people will admit that it drags towards the ending.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Marjane going to the hardcore punk concert. Cue insane singer yelling at the crowd while brandishing his middle finger.
    • Another bit in the book has the school headmistress yelling at their parents because they were acting up and being too liberal for their liking. Their parents weren't having a bit of it, and Marjane's dad retorted saying, "If hair is so bad, then maybe you should shave your mustache". What also added to the scene was a note saying, "Yes, he actually did say that."
  • Heartwarming Moments: Marjane's Grandma's "in life, you'll meet a lot of assholes" speech. Despite the crassness of the first line, it's an incredibly heartwarming "Be Yourself" speech.
    "Do you realize what this means? ... (hugs Marji) It means that if anybody tries to harm a hair on your head, I'll kill them.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mehridia in the graphic novel. While the narrator's childhood flashbacks suggest that Mehridia was an unpleasant little girl (i.e., eating Marjane's food, ignoring Marjane to play on the swings, despite moments of affection for Marjane), it's difficult not to pity her. Mehridia was born in a destitute village, then adopted by the Satrapis and taken far from her family. While the Satrapis did feed and clothe her, they kept her out of school and exploited her as an underage maid. Marjane's mother tried unsuccessfully to teach the girl how to read, suggesting that Mehridia may have had learning disabilities that went untreated. When she developed a crush on a neighborhood boy, Marjane's father thwarted her efforts to woo him. The adolescent Mehridia we see is illiterate, sheltered, and lonely.
  • Advertisement:
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Marjane recalls an instance from around the time of the Gulf War where her father lambasted the West for bailing out a wealthy, oil-rich country like Kuwait and dressing it up with the language of "human rights" while letting a far poorer country like Afghanistan rot. Afghanistan. Yeah.
  • Narm Charm: See Training Montage. Tell me that isn't awesome (all things considered.)
  • Nightmare Fuel: Life in Iran. A couple of more specific examples:
    • "The bracelet was still attached to...I don't know what..." The movie actually makes this worse by showing the viewer what the bracelet was attached to.
    • The silhouetted figures of Satrapi's friends running away from the police - and the one who tries to jump across to the other building, but falls to his death. And the police simply staring down at him, and then coolly walking away from the scene. Brr.
    • The purged illustrator who drew a mullah kicking a soccer ball and labeled him "assassin". No one knows what happened to him, but everyone has their own Epileptic Trees about his fate.
    • When it's revealed that the government is brainwashing all teenage boys into willingly dying for the country, by promising them riches and women in the afterlife if they do so.
    • When Marjane was a child, she and her friends hold nails in their fists and try to beat another kid with them because of his father's role in the government. Thankfully, this is stopped by their mother.
    • Early on in the series, Marjane and her family meet a young Communist girl who is sweet and kind. Later, it's revealed that she was arrested by the government, and set to be executed. Because it's illegal to kill virgins, her family was given a pittance as a mock-dowry and she was forcibly married to (and raped by) a soldier, before they killed her. Marjane's parents are terrified that the same thing could happen to their daughter, if she isn't careful.
    • The chapter/scene where Taji, Marjane's mother, has rape threats uttered against her. In the comic book, it might be more of a Fridge Horror situation, as the confrontation itself takes place off-screen, but even then, seeing Taji understandably shaken as she recounts the event, followed by a panel explaining that she didn't leave her bed or talk to anyone for a few days after the threats, is disturbing on its own. The movie redoes the scene so that the audience actually sees the man yelling at Taji, followed by her trying to fight back tears as Marjane asks if Taji is okay.
    • The fact that this is only a slight exaggeration of what Iran has been like under the rule of the fundamentalists.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Many good anvils, some being: oppression is bad. Don't judge an entire race all because of the actions of a few extremists. Stick up for what you believe in. Be true to yourself. Racism is bad. Muslims and Middle Easterners aren't all mean, heartless terrorists.
  • Values Dissonance: Marjane when she's a teenager starts smoking, and in Vienna tries drugs after a few years of faking it to avoid "becoming a vegetable". To this day she is a smoker in real life, and dislikes the smoking bans that Europe has started to enact.
  • Values Resonance: This comic was written in 2000, a year before 9/11, which caused a huge backlash against Muslims and Middle Easterners in America. Considering the racism, preconceived notions, and prejudice still going on, the book's messages have a lot more teeth nowadays.
  • Woolseyism: In the film there's a scene where a man rudely says, "Hé, je te parle!" ("Hey, I'm talking to you!") to Marjane's mother, who corrects him with "je vous parle." The literal translation is the same, but the latter uses the plural form of 'you' instead of the singular, which in French is the polite way to talk to someone you don't know. [1] The subtitles translate this as him saying, "Hey, woman!" and her saying, "You don't say 'woman', you say ma'am."
    • While the comics depict the above scene differently, this still becomes an issue at points. For example, when Marjane first meets Réza at the party, the French edition has Réza asking Marjane something to the effect of, "ça va si on se tutoie?"note  The English translation just has Réza saying something along the lines of, "hey again".
  • The Woobie: Marjane, and her family as a whole. They and many Iranians were hoping that the revolution would undo the Shah's oppression, only to face an even worse regime. Marjane was only a child when she had to start wearing a veil, and a teenager when her parents sent her away. Then in Europe she has trouble assimilating, only to assimilate too well and nearly die from a "banal love affair" and drug addiction.


Example of: